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Spatial autocorrelation analysis of 13 leading malignant neoplasms in Taiwan: a comparison between the 1995-1998 and 2005-2008 periods

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DOI: 10.4236/health.2011.312120    3,985 Downloads   6,673 Views   Citations


Spatial autocorrelation methodologies, including Global Moran’s I and Local Indicators of Spatial Association statistic (LISA), were used to describe and map spatial clusters of 13 leading malignant neoplasms in Taiwan. A logistic regression fit model was also used to identify similar characteristics over time. Two time periods (1995-1998 and 2005-2008) were compared in an attempt to formulate common spatio-temporal risks. Spatial cluster patterns were identified using local spatial autocorrelation analysis. We found a significant spatio-temporal variation between the leading malignant neoplasms and well-documented spatial risk factors. For instance, in Taiwan, cancer of the oral cavity in males was found to be clustered in locations in central Taiwan, with distinct differences between the two time periods. Stomach cancer morbidity clustered in aboriginal townships, where the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori is high and even quite marked differences between the two time periods were found. A method which combines LISA statistics and logistic regression is an effective tool for the detection of space-time patterns with discontinuous data. Spatio-temporal mapping comparison helps to clarify issues such as the spatial aspects of both two time periods for leading malignant neoplasms. This helps planners to assess spatio-temporal risk factors, and to ascertain what would be the most advantageous types of health care policies for the planning and implementation of health care services. These issues can greatly affect the performance and effectiveness of health care services and also provide a clear outline for helping us to better understand the results in depth.

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Tsai, P. and Perng, C. (2011) Spatial autocorrelation analysis of 13 leading malignant neoplasms in Taiwan: a comparison between the 1995-1998 and 2005-2008 periods. Health, 3, 712-731. doi: 10.4236/health.2011.312120.


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